1916 –2nd Bn Oxf & Bucks LI –H.30.d.7.0.
Inspection Parade by General Officer Commanding 4th Corps cancelled.
Standing by in billets waiting for order to entrain for ?
1916 – 1/1st Buckinghamshire Battalion – BOUZINCOURT
Battalion in Billets.
At 5pm the Battn marched through ALBERT & took over bivouacs in W 3Oa from the 1/5th R WARWICKS.
1916 - 1/4th Bn Oxf & Bucks LI – Between OVILLERS & POZIERES.
1.30AM - Attack launched but held up [See Appendix for full account].
About 3AM - 2nd attack ordered, but not practicable, owing to congestion of trench rendering reorganisation impossible.
4.15AM - Battalion ordered to withdraw. This operation very difficult owing to state of trench.
8AM - Battalion clear of trenches. Coy's reformed at Dump (outside ALBERT) and moved back into huts at BOUZINCOURT (where surplus officers & 5% men had been left) last Coy being in about 12.30 PM.
Remainder of day spent in rest.
Total casualties 2 Officers wounded [2nd/Lts JEFFERSON & FENWICK (5th Middlesex Attd)] O.R. 12 Killed: 4 missing believed wounded: 82 wounded, 1 missing.
[Night 19/20th bombing attack by 1/5th GLOSTERS towards point 79. 50]
1916 - 2/1st Buckinghamshire Battalion heavily engaged in the battle of Fromelles. 2/4th Bn Oxf & Bucks LI in Support.
1916 - 2/1st Buckinghamshire Battalion - FAUQUISSART
“ZERO” was at 11a.m. & at that hour our Bombardment started.
5.30 p.m. By 5. 30 p.m. we had lost nearly 100 men killed and wounded by Shell Fire. This was serious as on July 18th “A” Coy. (which was holding the Battn. front) lost 78 men gassed – owing to one of OUR shells having burst a Gas Cylinder in our Trenches.
The Battalion went into Action with 20 Officers and 622 Other Ranks.
This was reduced by casualties suffered during the action to 6 Officers and 300 O.R.
5. 40 p.m What was left of “A” and “D” Coy’s. (the assaulting Coy’s.) – about 120 men filed out into NO MANS LAND by RHONNDA SAP and lay down in 4 waves.
6. p.m.With a cheer the four waves leapt up and assaulted the enemy’s trenches.
Even before 5.40 pm the enemy's machine guns had become busy, and at 6.00 pm they mowed down our advancing waves, so that only a few men actually reached the German parapet, and none of these ever returned.
Quite early (about 1.00 pm) telephone communication between Battalion HQ and the front line was cut. After many gallant attempts to mend the wire, success was attained at exactly 5.40 pm, and from then until 9.30 pm the telephone was in constant use thus saving many lives, in that runners
Reports that flowed in over the telephone were sent on, as they came in, straight to Brigade HQ, and were very contradictory. Owing to the distance between the trenches, and to the continuous bombardment and smoke, the officers who were observing found their task almost impossible to fulfil with any degree of accuracy. Our men, having been seen actually on the German parapet, it was concluded that a certain number must have got in. But it is
certain that very few survived the enemy's machine gun fire, and whether they got in or not, they never returned”.
C Coy (the Company which carried over R.E. material for consolidation purposes) went out into NO MANS LAND at 6.10PM but, again the enemy’s machine Gun fire prevented any advance without extermination.
6.30PM - By 6.30PM it was clear that:-
1. The attack could not succeed without more men.
2. That given more men say 2 coys the attack must have succeeded
No reserves however, were available and the Commanding Officer of the Battalion was ordered to reorganise and to attack again at 8.30PM.
This order was received at a time when every man save a few Telephone Operators - orderlies and wounded, was in NO MANS LAND.
Gradually about 80 men (of A, C & D Coys) were reorganised , and 40 men of B Coy (the Reserve Coy) were added.
7.30PM - The order then came to postpone the attack until 9PM.
8PM - And at 8PM the order came through that no further attack would take place that night.
Every Officer who went out with the assaulting Coys was either Killed or Wounded & Capt H S G Buckmaster was the only officer who went out into NO MANS LAND who came back unhurt.
During the 18th and 19th July the Battalion lost 322 ALL RANKS – as follows:-
KILLED: Capt. H. CHURCH, Lieut. C.P. PHIPPS, Sec LieutS. H.R.N. BREWIN, F.R. PARKER
WOUNDED: Sec Lieut H.G. BADDERLEY, Capt. I. STEWART-LIBERTY, Sec. Lieuts A.T. PITCHER, B.H. DRAKES, G.D.W OLIVER, T.J. RELF. J.S. RUTHERFORD. Capt. V.W.G. RANGER
MISSING: Sec. Lieut. R.S. HUDSON, Lieut.. G.W. ATKINSON.
DIED of WOUNDS Lieut D.G. CHADWICK
OTHER RANKS: Killed – 62 .Wounded – 180. Missing - 65
The whole attack was unsuccessful in that the enemy’s Trenches – though penetrated – were not consolidated and held – but a very great measure of success was obtained in that.
- The enemy suffered severe casualties.
- He was and will be prevented from withdrawing either Infantry or Guns in support of his forces further South on the SOMME.
Whereas on our Battalion front, the Regt. had NOT ONE Bombproof shelter, and lost 100 casualties from shelling alone, the Germans appeared to have about 6 teams of Machine Gunners, and very few Infantry and even after seven hours of Bombardment by our guns these six Teams of Machine Gunners appeared intact – firing over the parapet at our assaulting infantry. By crowding three companies into three hundred yards of front, our casualties from shellfire were the more heavy. The orders, referring to the attack published by Superior Authorities are copied and attached in APPENDIX “D”
1916 – 2/4th Bn Oxf & Bucks LI - FAUQUISSART
A & C Coy’s moved up at 6 a.m. to the Assembly Trenches behind the left of the FAUQUISSART Section. C Coy. then provided 1 Officer and 80 men to carry up T.M. Ammn. To frontline and subsequently to carry same across NO MANS LAND behind an assault on Enemy Trenches by 2/4 Berks and 2/1 Bucks. at 7 p.m. A Coy. and remainder of C Coy. moved into front trench to reinforce above two Battns. At 7.15 p.m. remainder of Battn. left billets in motor lorries and eventually relieved 2/4 Berks and 2/1 Bucks in front line. In the meantime the assault had commenced but neither Battn. succeeded in reaching enemy’s trenches. A part of “C” Coy. carrying party advanced with the 2/1 Bucks After the relief all Coy’s. were occupied in getting in the dead and wounded of their own & of the other 2 Battns. Orders were received for us to make another assault but were subsequently cancelled. Casualties O.R. Killed 14, missing 1, wounded 43.
1916 – 6th (S) Bn Oxf & Bucks LI – TRENCHES. RUE PETTILION.
11AM – 11.30AM -Registration by Divn. Artillery and Trench Mortars
1130-1PM -Bombardment of German Lines by heavy artillery (9.2 inch Hows: and upwards)
6inch Hows. also registered during this period
1PM-3PM-Wire cutting by 18 pounders and Trench Mortar Batteries.
3PM-6PM - Bombardment of enemy’s lines by 4.5 inch and 6 inch Howitzers
4PM-6PM - Heavy artillery (9.5 inch Hows: and upwards) slow bombardment.
Above programme was carried out in accordance with Operation Orders. The heavies were particularly accurate, and caused considerable damage to enemy’s trenches, the 60 pounder Trench Mortars were also very deadly.
The Australian infantry on our right advanced on the enemy’s trenches with little or no opposition, though the enemy in the front of us in order to bring fire to bear on them exposed themselves freely.
Our Machine and Lewis Guns and rifles constantly swept the parapet opposite, in order to keep them down, and appeared to be successful.
After explosion of mine the enemy manned his parapet N. of Farm DE LANGRE, and displayed much daring, in his endeavours to bring fire to bear on the assaulting Australians.
Some bombing was heard in the German Line during the night.
1944 - 2nd (Airborne) Bn, Oxf & Bucks LI – CHATEAU ST COME.
The big battle SW of CAEN still continues but most of the fighting is now well beyond our range of vision and the majority of the sp arty has moved up so the noise has not been so deafening. On our own front the enemy still appears to be occupying the same posns and 'D' Coy snipers claimed another two hits, otherwise a quiet day.
1953 – 1st Bn Oxf & Bucks LI (43rd & 52nd) - The Regiment arrived at the Hook of Holland and moved in two train parties to Osnabruck where they all arrived at Belfast Barracks before 1800 hours.